Dark Phoenix Review: Not a Complete Dumpster Fire but still a Fire.

two stars
I was not anticipating Dark Phoenix. 
With the lackluster trailers, which spoil the film, and the numerous stories about production problems and reshoots, it seemed that the second attempt to adapt the X-Men’s Phoenix Saga was not going to work.
Sadly, this did prove to be the case because Dark Phoenix, directed by Simon Kinberg, is definitely one of the weakest X-Men films.
However, I will say that the movie is not as terrible as I thought it was going to be.
There are some redeeming qualities about it.
For starters, all of the actors do a good job with what they are given, especially Sophie Turner as Jean Grey.
I believe she could have done a fantastic job if the story had been good.

Jean Grey.jpg
Sophie Turner does a good job as the corrupted Jean Grey, and could have been fantastic had the script made her more than a pawn. 

Then there is the action, which serves as some mindless entertainment.
Even though the final action sequence does have some atrocious CGI, it is still enjoyable to watch.
Dark Phoenix also starts out pretty promising.
For the first twenty minutes I was actually liking it.
Sure, it was not amazing or anything, but I felt like it would not be that bad.
And then the aliens showed up.
Lead by Jessica Chastain’s Vuk, these discount Skrulls should not have been in the movie.
Not only are they boring and uninteresting but the main threat of this story should have been Jean.
One of the big reasons many people find the Phoenix storyline so engaging is because the X-Men are forced to fight one of their own.
Yet, somehow, both this film, and The Last Stand, have Jean simply being a pawn for a bigger villain.

Jessica Chastain.jpg
The aliens should not have been in Dark Phoenix. People want to see the Phoenix Force being the main threat, not it being manipulated… again. 

I wish I could say these aliens are the only bad things about Dark Phoenix but they are not.
While I did like the opening twenty minutes, there is one thing I absolutely hated there that persisted for most of the film.
This being the absolute character assassination of Charles Xavier (James McAvoy).
He acts nothing like the Xavier from the previous films, coming across as a complete narcissist, even after one of his close friends dies.
I get this was a part of his character arc but it does not work at all, considering how unlikable he is during the first hour and a half.

Charles Xavier resident asshole.jpg
Did a Skrull take over Charles Xavier? Well, one might as well have because this is not the Xavier we saw in the other films. 

It is also obvious that there were reshoots done because sections the film feels different from the rest of it, creating a jumbled experience.
The cinematography is also just bland, with no interesting shots to speak of.
Dark Phoenix is a mess.
It has some redeeming qualities like the performances, a few decent action sequences, and the first twenty minutes.
Other than these features though, the film falls flat on its face.
There have been two attempts at adapting this story and both have failed.
Hopefully, the third time will be the charm if Marvel decides to reboot the X-Men franchise.
In any case Dark Phoenix is a forgettable film that ends the X-Men series on a less than memorable note.

Glass: A Bittersweet Conclusion.

4 stars
Glass 
is a film I was incredibly excited to see because of the way people have responded to it.
I have heard so many different opinions on this film.
Some love it, some hate it, some thought it was good but that the ending ruined it.
With so many varied responses, I was exited to see what my reaction to the film would be.
After viewing Glass, I clearly understand why there are so many  opinions on this film.
After a slew of terrible films, M. Night Shyamalan has been making a surprising comeback lately and many hoped Glass would see him return to his former status.
However, I find that unlikely considering how divisive this movie is.
Shyamalan made some bold choices in Glass but these choices lead to be an ultimately bittersweet conclusion to the trilogy he started, all the way back with 2000’s Unbreakable.
Picking up from the huge twist in Split, that the film takes place in Unbreakable‘s universe, Glass sees David Dunn (Bruce Willis), nicknamed “The Overseer”, hunting down Kevin Wendell Crumb (James McAvoy), nicknamed “The Hoard.”
After being captured, the two are transported to a mental institution where they are treated by Dr Ellie Staple (Sarah Paulson), who believes their superpowers are a part of their own delusion.
However, the criminal mastermind Elijah Price (Samuel L. Jackson) is also in this institution and slowly begins to implement his plan to escape and prove their existence to the world.
For starters, the acting of the three main actors of McAvoy, Willis and Jackson are great.
McAvoy again steals the show with his terrific performance of all Kevin’s personalities.

The Beast.jpg
James McAvoy is amazing as Kevin Wendell Crumb and his various personalities like Hedwig, Patricia, Dennis, and, of course, the Beast himself.

Then there is Willis whose subtle performance as David Dunn in Unbreakable carries on into this film.
Finally, there is Jackson as the titular Mr Glass who is surprisingly not in much of the film, making me wonder why it is named after him, until the final act where he really shines.
The other returning actors all do a great job as well.
Then there is the cinematography, which is also very well done, creating some great shot including a fantastic use of P.O.V shots.
As for the soundtrack, composed by West Dylan Thordson, it is nothing short of phenomenal.
Not everything is though, sadly, since Shyamalan’s notoriously sketchy dialogue does appear in some places, although not enough to derail the film.
However, whether the story of Glass does get derailed depends on the viewer’s perspective on the ending, which is quite divisive.
The ending is incredibly bittersweet, offering an ending that will either satisfy some audiences or leave them disappointed and maybe even angry, again, depending on the viewer.
Personally, I think the ending fits in well with the story Shyamalan was trying to tell but it could have been executed better.
I found the way one one of the characters’ story ends to be bitterly disappointing, due to the way it is executed and I think there should have been reshoots to fix it.
Still, this problem I had did not kill the ending for me, although it certainly will for many others.
Overall, I would say this is the most divisive movie ending I have seen in a long time, with both sides having valid arguments to this being a good and bad ending.

Mr Glass.jpg
The way Glass ends will put some people off, while for others it will be a fitting end for the story.

It is subversive, bold and a massive risk on the part of Shyamalan.
Whether this risk pays off is up for each person who watches Glass to decide.
I think it does pay-off but I can certainly understand the other side of the argument.
I would encourage you to watch Glass just to see what your take on it will be.